Research News Staff
New Research on Brain Development in Children

Chiropractic Shown to Help

Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic on children with a number of challenges that share their origin with delayed brain development show that chiropractic benefits these children.

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“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” 

Research has shown not only that the brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurological communication and pathways involved in helping humans balance and orient themselves in space as well as develop socially, are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways. 

“We are now seeing more and more basic science and clinical research showing the relationship between abnormal spinal function and the diagnosis of all types of developmental delays” McCoy added. In older children the situation becomes worse due to a huge increase in sedentary behavior in children. 

According to McCoy, “Researchers believe that the increase in the diagnosis of learning disorders, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, have their root in a “perfect storm” of abnormal spinal development coupled with cultural changes.    

This study by researchers Sarah Hock, DC, CACCP & Amy Spoelstra, DC included 37 children with Neuro-Deflective Disorders. Such disorders impact how they develop to engage, learn, and connect with their environment which leads to less efficient responses being used.    

The researchers examined them and found structural shifts along their spines.  These findings were confirmed by neurological and functional assessments.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves, and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Throughout chiropractic care, assessments were used to monitor progress as well as feedback from parent surveys.  The outcome assessments showed improvement in learning, social skills and interpersonal skills, sensory integration, and overall health. 

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
McCoy Press